Our own Chicagoland blogger Whet Moser just passed me an interesting tidbit from over at Largehearted Boy. LHB got musician/writer/academic/blogger Franklin Bruno to review some of the books he’s been reading. The most intriguing is an examination of the twisty relationship between “popular” and “art” music by Bernard Gendron called Between Montmartre and the Mudd Club: Popular Music and the Avant-Garde. The subject in general might seem a little dry, but Gendron seems to have dug up some tasty historical nuggets, like this one, which resonates strongly with certain things going on now:
“By fully supporting and enforcing the royalty rights of the newly formed (1851) Society of Composers, Lyricists, and Music Publishers, the government of Louis-Napoleon added a further legal obstacle to the survival of the goguettes [worker’s singing clubs] while giving itself an apparently benign excuse to further intensify its surveillance over the production and dissemination of popular song. The musically illiterate lyricist-composers of the goguettes, for example, could no longer affix new words to well-known melodies without paying what were for them exorbitant royalties.”
Who knew that sample trolls could trace their lineage back so far?